Peter Hoeg The Elephant Keepers' Children

ISBN 13: 9781470810665

The Elephant Keepers' Children

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9781470810665: The Elephant Keepers' Children

[MP3CD audiobook format in vinyl case.]

[Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken]

Told from the perspective of precocious fourteen-year-old Peter, The Elephant Keepers' Children is about three siblings and how they deal with life alongside their eccentric parents. Peter's father is a vicar, his mother an artisan, and both are equally and profoundly devout. The family lives on the fictional island of Finø, where people of all faiths coexist peacefully. Yet nothing is at it seems.

When Peter's parents suddenly go missing, Peter and his siblings fear the worst -- has their parents' relentless quest to boost church attendance finally put them in danger? Told with poignancy and humor, The Elephant Keepers' Children is a fascinating exploration of fundamentalism versus spiritual freedom, the vicissitudes of romantic and familial love, and the triumph of the human spirit.

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About the Author:

PETER HOEG was born in Copenhagen. Before becoming a writer, he worked as a sailor, ballet dancer, and actor. He published his first novel, A History of Danish Dreams, to positive reviews, but it was Smilla's Sense of Snow, a New York Times bestseller, that earned him immediate and international literary celebrity. His books have been published in more than thirty countries.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

It’s not like we have never seen my father cry before. When you’re married to someone like my mother, who very often forgets everything around her, including her husband and her children and her dog, because she has become obsessed by the idea of making her own mechanical wristwatch and works twenty-four hours in one stretch to center the axles of the wheels while we children and our father go hungry—when you’re married to a woman like that you will have need to weep on the shoulders of close friends at least once a fortnight, which Father almost certainly has done in the company of Bent Piglet or John the Savior.
   But he has never done it at home. On such occasions as we have seen Father weep, it has always been in church and on account of him saying something especially beautiful that makes him cry because he is moved and grateful for the Lord having provided Finø with such a magnificent pastor as himself. Or else he cries at a funeral in sympathy with the bereaved, and one must reluctantly admit that Father’s sympathy is almost as great as his satisfaction at putting it on display.
   Though his complacency and sympathy both may be great, they have never been so great as what we now witness in the kitchen of our rectory home. What we see is something that has always been contained inside our father, but which only now is released, and to begin with we have no words for it. But Father leaves the kitchen and Mother goes after him, and Tilte and Hans and Basker and I remain behind and look at each other. We sit for a moment in silence, and then Tilte suddenly says: “They’re elephant keepers. That’s Mother’s and Father’s problem. They’re elephant keepers without knowing.”

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Peter HÃ eg
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Peter Hoeg
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